A masterpiece of world literature, this brand new, dynamic staging of Shakespeare's fast-moving tragedy uncovers the terrifying consequences of blind ambition. Set in 11th century Scotland, an unmissable piece of theatre brings to Chesterfield audiences a savage world of treachery, bloody battles and supernatural sisters. Dark prophecies lead a warrior and his wife past the point of no return.


Cast and Creative Team

Urth, Attendant 1, Murderer 2 | Lesley Lowe
Banquo | Toby Bradford
Verthandi, Messenger 2, Maidservant | Clem Sly
Macbeth | Josh Sly
Duncan, Porter, Doctor | Kim Harris
Ross, Murderer 1, Mercenary | Kheenan Jones
Skuld, Attendant 2, Young Siward, Mercenary | Amy Bradford
Bethad, Macduff Child, Dead Macbeth Child | Jess Simcox
Angus | Ollie Turner
Fleance, Flag Bearer, Mercenary, Messenger 1 | Dougie Moses
Macduff, Mercenary | Graham Buchanan
Lady Macduff, Gentlewoman, Mercenary | Louise Simcox
Donalbain, Maid-in-Waiting | Phoebe Peeling
Lady Macbeth | Anna Bond
Prince Malcolm, Mercenary | Jess Steele

Director | Barry Taylor
Original Music | Mat Williams
Designer | Jon Crofts
Set Construction | Heath Parkin
Lighting Designer | Jamie Vella
Visual Projection Design | Kim Harris
Fight Choreography | Paul Broesmith & Ben Adwick (The Lost Boys)
Graphic Design | Marie Stone
Special Effects Support | Milly Bould & Phillippa Buchanan
Rehearsal Photography | Megan Hill

Production Manager & Sound Desk | Phil Simcox
Co-Production | Ollie Turner
Stage Managers | Maureen Tierney & Cat Howarth
Programme & Meetings Secretary | Marie Stone
Finance Manager & Chair | Mik Horvath
Costume Support | Lesley Lowe, Clem Sly & Amy Bradford
Rose Theatre Managers | Jonathan Francis & Adam Green
Child Actor Chaperone Manager | Louise Simcox
Child Actor Chaperones | Gemma Bestwick & Clementine Morley
Fourblokes Chair | Mik Horvath


"The extremely well costumed cast were so worthy of praise not only in portraying their main character but in many cases playing multiple other roles ... first-class production"

This classic play written by William Shakespeare tells the story of a brave Scottish soldier named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from three witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth kills King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from suspicious resentments, he is wracked with guilt and paranoia which eventually lead to his own death and plagued by nightmares, Lady Macbeth commits suicide.

As stated in the programme, “This two-hour adaptation was developed specifically for, and by the gifted performers of Fourblokes Theatre. Conceptually, we wanted to produce the show with a nod to its eleventh century origins plus ensure accessibility appeal for the Game of Thrones generation.”

On arrival in the auditorium the stage was already set with large wooden latticed doors towards the back with a bench behind them, all side flats etc. were black and a large stage backdrop screen was placed right at the back of the stage. The stage was extremely atmospherically lit with just a hint of mist wafting in. The auditorium lights went down and I was quite taken aback when a man (I realised later that this was Macbeth) walked down the side of the seating area onto the stage carrying the body of a dead girl. The doors opened to reveal three bedraggled ladies, the body was placed on the bench and a very effective ‘fire’ sprang to life with relevant crackling sounds. The body rises up, the three ladies drape a cloak around her and she walks off! This was indeed quite dramatic but most confusing, however, when I looked into this on my return home, I found conflicting reports that Lady Macbeth had conceived of a child and then I remembered that she herself does mention this early in the play as she says “I have given suck, and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me”, so I then assumed that it had been a kind of homage to that fact.

Josh Sly gave a very stalwart portrayal of Macbeth delivering strong intense dialogue, especially his soliloquys, and he so successfully characterised the torment, jealousy and anguish of the character splendidly. Anna Bond too gave a very fine performance as Lady Macbeth she totally captured the decline from a manipulative and loving wife to her eventual haunting guilt and this inner torment was superbly communicated both visibly and audibly and all in a great Scottish accent. Tony Bradford as Banquo, Keenan Jones as Ross (also as Murderer 1 and a Mercenary) and Ollie Turner as Angus all gave very powerful performances as befitted their individual roles and they too had good Scottish accents as did Graham Buchanan as Macduff as he very stridently portrayed his love for Scotland and the distrust that he felt towards Macbeth. Louise Simcox was perfect in the role of Lady Macduff (also as Gentlewoman and a Mercenary) and the scene with her daughter was so movingly delivered. The daughter was so delightfully played by Jess Simcox (who also played other, but non-speaking roles) and the rapport they had was so evident – I wonder why? An excellent performance came from Jess Steele as Prince Malcolm (also a Mercenary) and good support came from Dougie Moses as Fleance (also Flag Bearer, Mercenary, Messenger 1) and from Phoebe Peeling as Donalbain (also Maid-in-Waiting) all having good Scottish accents. Kim Harris was ideal as King Duncan and he brought some light relief as the Porter but for me, although his rapport with the audience were superbly enacted, I did feel that the inclusion of ‘knock-knock’ jokes to coincide with the supposed knocking at the gates of hell, was a step too far in this situation – he also played the Doctor. The Weird Sisters, the three witches who prophesy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, and then King were engagingly and well portrayed by Lesley Lowe as Urth (also Attendant 1, Murderer 2), Clem Sly as Verthandi (also Messenger 2, Maidservant and Amy Bradford as Skuld (also Attendant 2, Young Siward, Mercenary) – loved the very tiny cauldron!

The extremely well costumed cast were so worthy of praise not only in portraying their main character but in many cases playing multiple other roles. The numerous and realistic fight scenes, that many were engaged in, were superbly executed and choreographed by Paul Broesmith and Ben Adwick. The simple set design by Jon Crofts and constructed by Heath Parkin with the addition, when required, of a splendid ‘Throne’ was all that was needed and it was stunningly enhanced by Jamie Vella’s Lighting design, the special effects support by Milly Bould & Phillippa Buchanan and Visual Projection Design by Kim Harris. The Original Music by Mat Williams added that extra nuance to the whole, very impressive and creative ambience. Make-up, especially that of the ghost of Banquo, was excellent. It was obvious that a great deal of hard work had gone into this production and congratulations must go to Director Barry Taylor, to Production Manager Phil Simcox and to all involved in any way in this first-class production. Many thanks also for the warm welcome that I received.

Joyce Handbury